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The Top 5 Features to Look for In a Savings App

The green flags to look for in a savings app

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So you need savings. But forcing yourself to put aside money each month sucks. Enter, savings apps.

They do all the hard work for you. You just sit back and watch your savings build.

Savings apps have come to our rescue in recent years thanks to their ability to simplify the process of setting money aside for future goals and emergencies. Add to that AI, and apps maximize your savings even further.

However, with the million options available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right savings app for your specific needs.

So you need a little help finding the right savings app for you. We’ve made this easy for you by listing the top 5 features to look for in a savings app.

Let's jump into the key aspects that can help you narrow down your search and reach your financial goals.

Easy to Use

The first question: Is it easy to use? Check out the reviews, download the app, and see if it makes sense to you.

You’re looking for what tech nerds call a “user-friendly interface and intuitive design,” which basically means you shouldn’t have to Google how the app works. Finding your way around the app should feel natural.

Something pretty cool about recent AI developments is that, with apps like Cleo, you can have a conversation with the app to find what you need.

So instead of having to search through tabs to find the feature you’re looking for, you just type it into chat. In fact, you can ask much more complex questions to Cleo and she’ll answer them for you.

Like, “Where has all my money gone?” (your banking app could never)

Having an intuitive design smooths the process of setting up accounts, creating savings goals, and tracking progress. If the process is easier, you’re more likely to stick to it– a savings app should make building savings as low-effort

A well-designed savings app will keep things straightforward, helping you stay motivated and focused on your goals. And ultimately, it’ll keep you coming back.

Automated Savings Tools

One of the main reasons to use a savings app is to automate annoying tasks, like transferring money into your savings account each month. Not only could you forget to do this, but when you have to go out of your way to get it done, it’s easier to just… not. You ignore your savings goal and treat yourself to a load of unnecessary sh*t from Amazon this month instead.

Automating your savings helps you avoid this cycle. It basically means the amount of money you want will be transferred into your savings each month. The app should ask you exactly how much you want this to be, and when you want it transferred. For privacy reasons, it may transfer the money into a ‘wallet’ in the app, which you then transfer to your savings account. (This is how it works with Cleo)

But the most important thing is that money is sectioned off and ring-fenced, away from your disposable income. So you’re not just mindlessly spending until, oops, you’ve accidentally spent that 20% of your paycheck that was for savings. You may be able to eyeball your favorite recipe, but the same doesn’t go for budgeting.

And it’s not just automating your savings. Savings apps can creatively find savings in other places.

With Cleo, you can opt for Set & Forget, Swear Jar, Autosave, or Round-Up. With the Round Up tool, Cleo will take your spending, round it up to the nearest dollar, and transfer the spare change to your savings.

Automating your savings creates a positive cycle– you consistently add to your savings, you get the satisfaction of seeing your savings grow, and this motivates you to keep saving.

Goal Setting and Tracking

A reliable savings app should allow you to set specific savings goals and track your progress in real-time. Having clear objectives helps you stay focused and motivated on your savings journey. Whether you are saving for an emergency fund, a vacation, a down payment on a house, or –we don’t know, a grocery shop at Erewhon– the app should enable you to establish your savings goals.

Psst. With Cleo you can just type “I want to save $200 a month” into chat, and she’ll help make that happen.

For the visual learners among us, savings app should provide visual aids like charts and graphs to track your progress. Watching your savings grow just helps feed that positive cycle, and keep you motivated. The ability to visualize your progress will help you stay committed to your financial goals.

A Solid Money Pot

Whether that’s an in-app ‘wallet,’ or the app integrates with your savings account, you want to put your money somewhere smart.

When you’re looking to save, you should definitely consider a high-interest savings account. Traditional savings accounts at brick-and-mortar banks often offer minimal interest rates, which limits how much your savings can grow over time.

So look for either an app that integrates with your savings account, or has a wallet. And if there is an in-app wallet, remember to transfer this money to your savings account, to make the most out of positive interest rates.

Security and Data Protection

Ok, this is a non-negotiable, obviously. Security is the most important factor when it comes to financial apps, especially savings apps that handle your hard-earned money. It can be hard to understand the technical terms around data protection and security measures, but you’ll probably want to look out for ‘two-factor authentication’ and ‘encryption protocols.’

Two-factor authentication is like having two locks on your door instead of one. This might be a password, and also a text sent to your phone. So even if someone knows your password, they still can’t get into the app.

Encryption is important because if an app is tracking your money, that means that messages containing some of your financial information are being sent from your bank to the app. Encryption basically turns this into a secret code only the app can understand– so even if someone intercepts this message, it’ll be gibberish.

Savings Apps | The Lowdown

So, shop around to find the right savings app for you. Remember to check out if it’s easy to use, has automated savings tools, goal setting and tracking, a solid money pot, and security and data protection.

Why not start with Cleo?

Enjoy this post? Give it a share or send it along to a friend. You never know, it could make a big difference. Big love. Cleo 💙
Still have questions? Find answers below.
What should I consider first when choosing a savings app?
How can a savings app help with goal setting and tracking?
What security features should I look for in a savings app?
How can Cleo help with my savings goals?
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